Minister for Rural and Community Development, Heather Humphreys has announced over €8.8 million in funding under the Connected Hubs Scheme – a key deliverable of Our Rural Future.
Five projects in Co Kildare will benefit:
Venture House in Crookstown is to receive almost €50,000 for works such as adding capacity for 10 new desk spaces, the soundproofing of three existing meeting rooms with a potential to hold 10 people and the creation of two new single phone booths to allow for Video Calls and Private Meetings when needed.
The Hub @ Market Square in Ballymore Eustace has been granted 75,000 to upgrade current office furniture and equipment, external signage and an access control system.
Osprey Business Centre in Naas received €75,000 for expansion of existing own door hub to include the creation of a dedicated open plan co-working area to accommodate 26 customers, installation of privacy booths and additional meeting room facilities.
County Kildare Chamber Hub is to receive €34,353 for additional hot-desking capacity in the centre of Naas town.
The site is part of the county-wide K-Hub initiative and is owned and managed by the Kildare Chamber.
The funding will enable the installation of a further four hot desks, two enclosed privacy booths and interactive touchscreens.
Allenwood Community Development Association (ACDAL) will receive €30,286.00 to renovate the food preparation and dining facilities in line with the modernisation of the rest of the facility as well as converting two existing separate rooms into one larger space, installing energy efficient heating and lighting, installing safety flooring, a small number of kitchen units and appliances
The funding will enable existing hubs and broadband connection points to enhance and add capacity to remote working infrastructure in every region across Ireland.
Grants will also fund measures to assist hubs to deal with COVID related challenges.
The funding will benefit 117 projects and will support a wide range of relevant works nationwide, including the expansion of existing hubs, installation of privacy booths, access control and security systems, the conversion of existing open plan space to modular offices, and provision of enhanced audio visual, networking and conferencing facilities.
This investment will support the ongoing development of the recently launched National Hub Network - connectedhubs.ie - which already has more than 100 hubs using the platform and 380 hubs mapped.
The supports delivered through this network will help build on the fantastic asset Ireland already has in its connected working ecosystem.
Included in the funding announced by the Minister is;
· €2.8m to develop remote working infrastructure in the Eastern and Midland region
· €3m to develop remote working infrastructure in the North-West region
· €3m to develop remote working infrastructure in the Southern region
Announcing the successful projects in Carlow today, Minister Humphreys said:
“Our Rural Future recognises hubs as ideal locations for people to work remotely, as well as acting as key economic assets for towns and villages.
“The increased shift to remote working as a result of the pandemic has provided a golden opportunity for a greater regional distribution of jobs to support a better work life balance for many people.
“This opportunity is reflected in Our Rural Future and in policy initiatives across the whole of Government, such as Making Remote Work, the National Remote Working strategy.
“The investment announced today will provide an increased number of families and individuals with the option to live and work in our rural communities. Remote working from hubs and Broadband Connection Points benefitting from this funding will also support local economies and assist in reducing our carbon emissions.”
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